Should male rapes be brought within the definition of rape?
This article is the analysis of the results of the Saturday Poll posted on India Institute’s Facebook page on 30 November, 2013 which asked the above question. 84 % of you think that male rapes should be recognized as rape where as 16% of you do not think male rapes should be defined as rape.India Institute
The pressure of public opinion brought about several welcome changes to the Indian criminal law in the 2013 amendment. It widened the scope of the definition of rape of a woman, expanded the list of sexual offences and increased the punishment for the offences. However, an equally repugnant violation of a person’s bodily integrity, the rape of a male person, is not included even in the new expanded definition of rape, denying justice that the victims deserve. Whatever be the reason for it, male rape has remained outside public discourse, though in recent times the media has started reporting it.
84 % of you think that male rapes should be recognized as rape where as 16% of you do not think male rapes should be defined as rape. The Indian Penal Code defines rape as an act of sexual violence against WOMEN. Victims of male rapes generally have to resort to Section 377 which criminalizes unnatural sex. In Naaz Foundation v. Govt. Of NCT of Delhi, the Delhi high court decriminalized consensual sexual acts between people of same sex. If sex between a man and a woman is rape when it is without the consent of the woman, why isn’t it a rape when it is sex between a man and a man without the consent of one of the men? In many countries like Russia, New Zealand, Bhutan etc, rape laws are gender neutral and define sexual violence as acts against a PERSON. Under International Humanitarian law rape is within the ambit of torture irrespective of the gender.